Content of the article: "The single best use of the spell Darkness I have ever seen."
It was the end of the campaign, and the party was facing off against the boss, a deceitful general Blackguard Paladin, in disguise as an Oath of Devotion Paladin, and his personal guard in the ruins of a city he attacked. He had tricked our Paladin's former order to attack a city he has convinced them was evil. One army and the enemy’s army had all but wiped each other out. Out of our party of 4, 2 of us were dead. It was just our Paladin/Warlock/Bard close quarters fighting the general's lieutenant, the general himself firing from a distance, and our Cleric hiding behind some stairs. Things were looking very bleak. While fighting the lieutenant, our Paladin was being bombarded with spells from the general himself. So here's what this clever fuck does.
Attached to the chest of our Paladin is his trusty knife. Now, he has used this knife for a clever maneuver throughout the campaign. He would cast Darkness on the hilt of the blade, be able to see through it with his Warlock given Devil Sight, and then throw the knife where he wanted it from there, either keeping it to himself or throwing it to blind enemies, and then pick it up again if he needed to. Brilliant maneuver.
Back at the final fight, our Paladin has once again cast this maneuver on his knife hilt, but it's not helping as much as he would like because the general has a necklace of fireball, and he keeps throwing them at the sphere of darkness as he knows he's inside; which also damages his own lieutenant as the 2 are often close together, with the lieutenant often telling the general to stop, "you're hitting me too!". And because of the constant fireball damage, the Paladin has to roll concentration saves to maintain darkness, a lot of them. He succeeds on every one of them. Here's all I'll say about that: Warcaster is a fucking godsend. But still, the general's doing very good damage to our Paladin, he's low on spell slots, and he won't last long.
So here's how it happens. Our Paladin knows all of this, and he's running out of options. So. He takes the knife out of its holster, attempts to stab it into the general's lieutenant. He succeeds, and he adds a divine smite just to spite the guy. He then uses his movement to reach just inside the edge of the Darkness sphere, and then uses Misty Step to teleport out of sight of the general.
The Darkness is still stuck to the knife, which is stuck to the lieutenant, running around like a chicken with its head cut off. And also on fire.
For the next 2 turns, the general just firebombs the shit out of the sphere of darkness, and during that time, our Paladin does 2 things. 1st, he casts Disguise Self, and makes himself look like the lieutenant, albeit quite charred. And 2nd, he uses his Lay on Hands to heal himself as much as he can. He can see the Cleric from his position farther back, and he gives her the 'shh' sign with his fingers. They both lay low, and she also heals up a bit. On the 3rd turn, the general throws a fireball and kills his lieutenant. The darkness is still there though. Our Paladin comes limping over out of the wreckage towards the general, who's only moderately hurt after this encounter, though he used a fuckton of his spells. He goes, "Sir, we must retreat. Back into the forests." Rolls a 25 on deception. The general sighs. "Come then." Our Cleric stays behind, and the general and our disguised Paladin ride off into the forest behind the city.
The ride takes almost an hour and this point, the guy has to burn a 3rd level spell slot to stay disguised. They arrive at a small cave as the sun goes down. They make camp there, and he watches the general goes to sleep. At this point, he tells us he has no spell slots left. While our general friend needs a long rest to get his strength back, our Paladin(/Warlock/Bard) only needs a short rest to get his Warlock slots back. That makes two level 2 spell slots left. Before he does anything, he successfully sneaks away from their camp. He gives himself Bardic Inspiration before he does anything. Then, from a fair distance away out of earshot of the general, he casts Darkness on him. On his armor. He doesn’t notice, still asleep. He then casts Hexblade’s Curse on the general. And then, he lays into him. Advantage and autocrit. Both hit, and he divine smites the first one. The general wakes up in pain, and can’t see a thing. He gets up and starts scrambling around the cave mouth. Our DM rolls a D8 to see what direction he goes in each turn. He keeps bumping into the cave walls. The Paladin just Eldritch Blasts him from a distance now, and the general has no spells left to counter this. After 5 turns of constant bombardment, he’s done. The DM tells us he is lying prone on the cave floor, barely breathing. Our Paladin walks up to him, still in the darkness, and pushes his blade into the general’s chest. And then he drops Darkness. The Paladin, the one who the general himself had exiled from his ranks years before for his "impurity", would be his end. And the last thing the general ever saw, was the Paladin raise his foot, press it to his face, and push him off his blade.
And that, was the end of our campaign.
- Short Rest Spell Points instead of Long rest spell slots
- Rockfury Bracers. Actually bis?
- A rework to Dispel Magic and Counterspell to make them feel more satisfying. Spell
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